Steve likes to think that Tony is a good man. Despite his arrogance, his smartass mouth and sharp words, Tony is a good man. It took Steve awhile to realize that since Tony did everything in his power to push Steve's buttons. However when it comes down to it Steve knows he (they) can count on Tony.
I know guys with none of that worth ten of you. I've seen the footage. The only thing you really fight for is yourself. You're not the guy to make the sacrifice play, to lay down on a wire and let the other guy crawl over you.
I think I would just cut the wire.
Steve also knows Tony never does anything by half measures and never follows rules. But Tony is a good man.
If albeit one who had stupid moments.
Somehow this group of terrorists manages to subdue each and every member of the Avengers with the exception of Tony. Both Bruce and Thor were under a drug that had them phasing in and out of reality. It was frightening because there were times when Bruce flashback to his childhood (Steve made a note to have a serious talk with Bruce afterwards, if they made it out of this alive) and Thor continuously mistaken that he was back on Asgard and was holding conversations with an invisible Loki. Steve, Clint and Natasha on the other hand had collars lined with needles around their necks. Even inhaling causes the needles, filled with poison no doubt, to come close before pulling back as they exhale.
For the terrorists this is the easy way to ensure the capture of Tony's arc reactor. Plain and simple. Tony will make the choice, his friends or his life. They had learned from previous groups' attempts that forcing Mr. Stark into giving up the technology was not an easy thing to do. While capturing one man and holding that one man is easier, his teammates will always be close behind to rescue him. No, it's far better to work in reverse.
They succeeded. One by one they captured the Avengers until only Tony remain. Then they sent a simple message.
Five lives for the price of one.
Steve hopes that Tony wouldn't agree. It isn't right for him to sacrifice himself for them. Tony is worth much more than that. There must be another way out of this. Steve's heart drop when he sees Tony show up, unarmed and alone at the warehouse. At the same time, it is Tony. The same Tony who doesn't follow orders, who would tell others to never make the sacrifice play but then turns around and becomes a hypocrite and makes that exact same play. Because Tony is a good man.
"Mr. Stark," the leader terrorist greets. "Iron Man, the superhero. Like the good man you are, you selflessly show up to save your friends."
Tony pulls off his sunglasses and pockets them inside his jacket. "I want you to know," Tony says in an icily calm tone, "that I'm extremely angry."
"The anger of a good man is not a problem. They have too many rules," the terrorist mocks.
Tony pinches the bridge of his nose. These idiots don't ever learn do they? "Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many of them."
The terrorist lets out a bitter laugh. "Let us get down to business shall we?"
Tony smirks. "Yes let's. You are Spinda Loudred, age 43. You were educated in Seattle, Washington, graduated with a mere 2.7 from Washington University. At the age of 27 you created the terrorist group known as Megaphone, wanted in various countries for several key bombing incidents and thefts. You like chocolate ice cream and are allergic to peanuts."
Spinda stare at him, stun.
Tony however isn't done. "Tell me, Mr. Loudred, do you love your child?"
"Your child, Song Loudred? Seven years old, with blond hair up in pigtails and wearing the cutest pink dress you could have ever seen," Tony says in a bored tone. "She's on her way home right now isn't she? Walking down Pine Street and just about to make a right turn onto Central Road."
Spinda pales several shades. "How... how do you know that?"
Tony grins viciously at him. "It's amazing what you can do when you have the world's greatest AI and a few highly intelligent robots who are more than capable capturing said child."
"You wouldn't hurt her," Spinda protests. "That's not what a superhero does."
Tony's grin simply got larger. "I told you Mr. Loudred. I am not a good man. I use to design weapons for a living. I know how to be ruthless. Just because I work for the side of angels, doesn't make me one."
Silence fell across the room.
"Well," Tony presses. "Five lives for the price of one."
Spinda draws in a sharp breath. "Deal." He presses a button and the collars drop from Clint, Steve and Natasha's necks. Then he tosses a ring of keys to Tony. "Those will unlock the chains."
"Thank you," Tony says with a smile. "Your little princess just arrived home safely. I would still check up on her if I were you."
He doesn't wait for Spinda to disappear out the door, taking his men with him to start unlocking the chains around Clint's wrists and legs.
"Holy shit, Stark," Clint swears. "Remind me to never get on your bad side." He helps Natasha off the ground.
Tony rolls his eyes. "Just be glad I like all of you. Now let's get out of here. Bruce and Thor probably need a doctor."
"Tony," Steve starts. Tony is a good man in his mind. While he is grateful that Tony rescues them, to see him threaten like that is... shocking. "You wouldn't really have done anything to that little girl would you?" he asks, curiosity in his tone of voice.
Tony pauses. "If meant getting you guys back safely...?" Tony trails off, pondering the question. When he comes to his conclusion, he looks Steve back in the eye with a serious expression.